Five arrests made in Kent burglary ring probe

 

Pictured is evidence seized after investigation into an alleged Kent County burglary ring, authorities said. (Submitted photo/Delaware State Police)

DOVER — Five arrests were made after a three-month investigation into what authorities described as a burglary ring operating in Kent County and the Eastern Shore of Maryland.

In announcing charges Wednesday, the Delaware State Police claimed Christopher Bacon 38, of Hartly, and Harry M. McKnight Jr., 44, of Henderson, Maryland, had allegedly committed several burglaries throughout northern and western Kent County and Caroline County, Maryland.

“During the burglaries, the suspects would target residences and garages containing firearms, ammunition, lawn equipment, riding mowers, tools, jewelry, cash, and electronics, before selling the property for cash or trading it for narcotics,” State Police spokesman Master Cpl. Gary E. Fournier said in a news release.

State Police Troop 3 Property Crimes Unit worked with Maryland State Police to identify suspects in alleged incidents that began July.

Police alleged that stolen property was taken for trade to residences in the 200 block of Wilson Private Drive, Smyrna and the 1000 block of Lentz Road, Henderson, Maryland.

The Wilson Private Drive residence was searched through a warrant on Sept. 28 where Vance L. Taylor, 22, of Smyrna, and Gerald Edmonds, 23, of Philadelphia, were taken into custody without incident, police said.

Christopher Bacon

 

During the search, police said two Mossberg shotguns, a Chinese SKS 47 rifle with scope and tripod, 112.65 grams of PCP, 10.42 grams of heroin, 5.13 grams of crack cocaine, 13.23 grams of cocaine, several hundred rounds of 7.62 ammunition, numerous pills, and $2,579 in suspected drug proceeds were located in the residence.

The SKS 47 rifle, scope, and tripod were reported stolen in a burglary near Hartly that was committed by Mr. Bacon, Mr. McKnight, and Greg A. Grantland, 43, of Clayton.

 

The charges detailed

Mr. Bacon was apprehended during a traffic stop on Sept. 28 and charged with three counts of second-degree burglary, third-degree burglary, motor vehicle theft, theft of firearm, four counts of felony theft, misdemeanor theft, possession of a firearm during the commission of a felony, possession of a firearm by person prohibited, possession of ammunition by person prohibited, second-degree conspiracy, three counts of criminal mischief, criminal trespass, four counts of selling stolen property, three counts of theft by false pretense and three counts of falsifying business records He was arraigned at Justice of the Peace Court 2 in Rehoboth Beach and committed to James T. Vaughn Correctional Center near Smyrna on $15,805 cash bond.

Harry M. McKnight Jr.

Mr. McKnight was taken into custody during the same traffic stop and charged with three counts of second-degree burglary, third-degree burglary, motor vehicle theft, theft of a firearm, four counts of felony theft, misdemeanor theft, second-degree conspiracy, three counts of criminal mischief and criminal trespass. He was committed to JTVCC on $8,005 cash bond.

Vance L. Taylor

Mr. Taylor was arrested on Sept. 28 for three counts of possession of a firearm during commission of a felony, two counts of possession of controlled substance in a Tier 5 quantity, four counts of possession of firearm or ammunition by person prohibited, six counts of possession with intent to deliver a controlled substance, possession of a controlled substance in a Tier 2 quantity, possession of a controlled substance in a Tier 1 quantity, possession of a weapon with obliterated serial number, receiving a stolen firearm, second-degree conspiracy, endangering the welfare of a child and possession of drug paraphernalia. He was committed to JTVCC in default of $130,700 cash bond.

Gerald Edmonds

Mr. Edmonds was arrested Sept. 28 for three counts of possession of a firearm during the commission of a felony, two counts possession of controlled substance in a Tier 2 quantity, possession of a controlled substance in a Tier 1 quantity, possession of a weapon with obliterated serial number, receiving a stolen firearm, second-degree conspiracy, endangering the welfare of a child and possession of drug paraphernalia. He was committed to JTVCC in default of $121,450 cash bond.

Mr. Grantland was arrested Tuesday for second-degree burglary, nine counts of firearm theft, possession of a firearm during the commission of a felony, possession of firearm by person prohibited, possession of ammunition by person prohibited and felony theft. He was committed to JTVCC in default of $131,100.00 cash bond.

Greg A. Grantland

A Delaware Justice Information System report found that Mr. Grantland was convicted of violent felony convictions in 1993 (second-degree burglary) and 1997 (possession of a deadly weapon by person prohibited), and thus banned from possessing firearms and ammunition, according to court documents.

Burglary in Hartly

According to investigation, authorities said in papers, approximately $4,480 worth of firearms were taken during an alleged Hartly area incident on July 22, along with $1,000 in ammunition. An arrest report listed 2,300 rounds of ammunition allegedly being stolen.

The affidavit listed several long rifles, pistols and shotguns taken from a gun safe that was removed, along with approximately $12,000 in cash and serial numbers for the firearms. Also missing were 30-round magazines, authorities said.

A $500 50-inch television was also allegedly taken from the home, along with a necklace, ring and ladies gold watch. The jewelry was valued at $300, police said.

Police found that alleged entry was made though a rear basement door, causing $80 damage. Three suspects were involved in the break-in, police said in papers.

Reach staff writer Craig Anderson at canderson@newszap.com

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